The Need for Highly-Educated Nurses In the 21st century, the health challenges facing the nation have shifted dramatically. The American population is older”Americans 65 and older will be nearly 20 percent of the population by 2030”as well as more diverse with respect not only to race and ethnicity but also other cultural and socioeconomic factors.
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As patient needs and care environments have become more complex, nurses need to attain equisite competencies to deliver high-quality care. These competencies include leadership, health policy, system improvement, research and evidence-based practice, and teamwork and collaboration, as well as competency in specific content areas such as community and public health and geriatrics. Nurses also are being called upon to fill expanding roles and to master technological tools and information management systems while collaborating and coordinating care across teams of health professionals.
To respond to these increasing demands, the 10M committee alls for nurses to achieve higher levels of education and suggests that they be educated in new ways that better prepare them to meet the needs of the population. An Improved Education System Much of nursing education revolves around acute care rather than community settings that include aspects of primary care, public health, and long-term care. The qualifications and level of education required for entry into the nursing profession have been widely debated by nurses and nursing organizations..
Although a BSN education is not a panacea for all that is expected of nurses in the future, it does, elative to other educational pathways, introduce students to a wider range of competencies in such arenas as health policy and health care financing, community and public health, leadership, quality improvement, and systems thinking. Care within the hospital continues to grow more complex, with nurses having to make critical decisions associated with care for sicker, frailer patients and having to use more sophisticated, life-saving technology coupled with information management systems that require skills in analysis and synthesis.
Care outside the hospital is ecoming more complex as well. Nurses are being called on to coordinate care among a variety of clinicians and community agencies; to help patients manage chronic illnesses, thereby preventing acute care episodes and disease progression; and to use a variety of technological tools to improve the quality and effectiveness of care. A more educated nursing workforce would be better equipped to meet the demands of an evolving health care system, and this need could be met by increasing the percentage of nurses with a BSN.
An increase in the proportion of urses with a BSN also would create a workforce poised to achieve higher levels of education at the master's and doctoral levels, required for nurses to serve as primary care providers, nurse researchers, and nurse faculty” positions currently in great demand across the profession and within the health care system
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